When compared to women, men live with more sickness and die younger. This is probably because visiting your doctor regularly, getting routine health check-ups, prostate exams, and colonoscopies may not be considered manly things to do. To break this stereotype, June is celebrated all over the US as Men’s Health Month with health fairs, screening programs, health education, and many other activities to spread awareness about the importance of taking care of your health, especially if you are a man!
Here are a few tips to get you moving on the road to better health:
- Go for a Complete Physical: An annual physical exam will help you see how your body is doing and can be a preventive step to avoid serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions that are running rampant throughout the country.
- Diet: You may have heard it said, "Abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym." Proper nutrition is indeed the cornerstone on which to build a healthy body. You could consult a dietician to determine a diet regimen based on your present state of health and where you would like to see yourself in the future.
- Improving Cardiovascular Health: Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the US and that fact itself should be sufficient reason to get some cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis. There are several options you could choose from - jogging, biking, swimming, and sports such as soccer or basketball. If vigorous, high-impact activities are not an option, you can opt for brisk walking, elliptical machines, a recumbent bicycle, water aerobics, or any fun activity that gets your heart pumping for about 20-30 minutes every day.
- Weight Training: Regular weight training will reverse age-related muscle loss and fat gain. The increased muscle mass will boost your metabolism and burn more calories. Lifting weights also strengthens your bones making them less susceptible to fracture.
- Staying Flexible: Maintaining flexibility is very important as you grow older. A simple stretching program that you can do for 10-15 minutes every day will keep your muscles and joints supple and make you less likely to injure yourself in case you must stretch or make a sudden movement while performing activities of daily living.
- Colonoscopy: Screening colonoscopies save lives and are highly recommended after the age of 50. If a family history of colon cancer is present, it is recommended after the age of 40. Screening is usually repeated every 5 or 10 years depending on your risk factors.
You do not have to wait until you are sick to start taking better care of yourself. Take steps to stay healthy! Today’s man takes his health seriously and is willing to go the extra mile not only for yourself, but also for the ones you love.